The goal of Yeshiva University High School for Girls’ science program is to engage, excite, and inspire each student’s interest in the sciences, possibly as a future career, but more importantly as a vital component of everyday life. The Science Institute at YUHSG is a special research program that promotes the study of advanced science and mathematics. This highly innovative program gives select students the opportunity to concentrate their high school studies on scientific knowledge, science literacy, and research methodology. The students attend off-site lectures, participate in a research methodology course after school hours, and perform independent research. The Science Institute provides students with the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art technologies used in conducting original research, and prepares participants for summer research internships, and national and international science research competitions. This program was recognized with a $10,000 Toyota Tapestry grant from the National Science Teachers Association.
The need for positive female role models in science is important to our school, and our science faculty serves to inspire our students to pursue the sciences. Peer role models are critically important, as well; and the opportunity for our students to participate in independent research has a tremendous impact on our tightly connected student body. The support of our Science and Mathematics departments and our administration has resulted in students’ acceptance into prestigious summer internships at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Stony Brook University’s Garcia Center for Polymers and Engineered Interfaces, New York University, Northwell Health System, Stern College for Women, Cooper Union College, and others. Students’ participation in these research opportunities has resulted in recognition and awards, including Siemens Math, Science, and Technology Regional Finalists; New York City Science and Engineering Fair Finalists; and representation of New York City at the International Science and Engineering Fair Competition, the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Competition at Farmingdale State College, and the Material Research Society conference in Boston. Many of our Science Institute graduates continue their science education at prestigious colleges and universities.
Senior Science Institute student Meirav Grajower commented on her experience as a member of the YUHSG Science Institute:
“The highlight of my experience in the Science Institute has been the opportunity to conduct independent research. During the summer of tenth grade, I was able to intern at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. I worked in the Diabetes Clinical Trials Unit where I learned about what goes into conducting a clinical trial while I specifically worked with patients involved in the study.
“This past summer, I participated in the Garcia High School Summer Science Research Program at Stony Brook University. I spent seven weeks researching and observing how dental pulp stem cells respond to differences in the moduli of the substrate on which they grow and divide. Understanding the triggers of cell differentiation advances the field of tissue engineering and contributes to the goal of creating tissue for implantation, removing the need for artificial implants.
“I have already presented my research at the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Competition at Farmingdale State College. In addition, I will be presenting my research in December at the Material Research Society (MRS) in Boston. In the future, I hope to compete in the New York State Science and Engineering Fair.”
Senior Science Institute student Lauren Stiefel commented on her experience as a member of the YUHSG Science Institute:
“The four years I have spent in the Science Institute program have really shaped my future. Before I was invited into the program, I had little knowledge about how to conduct research or how to design experiments in a laboratory setting. My first exposure to independent research was in my tenth grade Research Methodology course, where I learned proper research techniques and was able to conduct independent research. My research journey continued at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM), where the Science Institute program coordinator, Mrs. Ruth Fried, arranged a seven-week summer internship for me. I assisted researchers who were studying the genetics of elderly Ashkenazic Jews, and analyzed the DNA of these centenarians. At AECOM, I learned about the bioethical issues related to the research being performed, and specifically the research involved in the study of the human brain. I even got to observe clinical diagnostic tests such as the administration and reading of MRI scans.
“A whole year of science and math College Board Advanced Placement courses later, I participated in one of the top research programs in the nation located at Stony Brook University. This program at the Garcia Center for Polymers and Engineered Interfaces is directed by Dr. Miriam Rafailovich. During this program, I helped to create a cream that could be applied to human skin to prevent skin from burning in a fire. This could be especially useful for firefighters. My research required collaboration between the fields of Chemistry, Biology, and Engineering. After the program ended, the research I conducted didn’t stop. I have been traveling to Stony Brook University to continue my research, and I am currently writing a paper on our findings. My research was accepted to the Material Research Society (MRS) conference in Boston next month, where I will be presenting my work. What has really stood out for me throughout my experience in the Science Institute program at YUHSG is the support the faculty provides for me and my fellow researchers. The head of the Science Institute program, Mrs. Ruth Fried, invited me into the program at the end of Freshman year and has continued supporting me throughout all of my years in the program. I am so grateful for this entire experience.”
YUHSG Science Department Chair
Director of Science Institute